On July 27, Arab Cinema lost its premier director, Youssef Chahine, who died aged 82 in Cairo. It was good to see obituaries in print and online. A detailed and informative obit by Sheila Whitaker appeared in the Guardian on July 28. Visit the ‘official’ site at http://www.youssefchahine.us/
It seems a long time since I watched Chahine’s most famous early film, Cairo Station (Egypt 1958) so I must dig out the videotape. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find DVDs of his later films (in fact, any of his films) in the UK, but I did find a Region 1 DVD of An Egyptian Story (1982) at a reasonable price on Amazon and I’ll try to review it when it arrives. In the last few years, we’ve lost Sembène Ousmane and Gillo Pontecorvo – also very badly served by DVDs in the UK, forcing dedicated cineastes to search for American or French editions – with attendant problems of Region coding and subtitling. UK DVD distribs please note.